"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."
-- Alma 26:12

Monday, October 31, 2011


Well familia,
This week was pretty good. We taught Jess twice, and both times they went awesome. She is going to get baptized without a doubt. The only question is when. She is so ready and prepared. She accepts everything we teach and she reads the Book of Mormon. We just need her and Brian to get married, and then she is golden for baptism. It's been awesome being able to teach them. I really look back on how we originally were just going over there to talk with Brian and share a spiritual thought with him. Then he asked us to give him a blessing. Then she was there for that, and they both felt the Spirit immensely. Then she was interested in learning more about what we believe. Then we started teaching her, and baptism wasn't really in the question for her. Then her and Brian realized baptism HAD to be in the plans. Now here we are, only a few more concerns need to be resolved, and I marvel and am humbled at how the Lord works in people's lives. He does, I have no doubt of that. We may not be able to see it in the moment, but looking back, how can we deny the ever-outstretched arm of the Lord working tender mercies every singular day of our lives? He is the God of open arms and outstretched hands. He has said to us, "Come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal [you]." The truth is, we all need healing. Our job is simply to come unto Him. To do so with all of our hearts. How great is His promise to us. Like the hymn says, "Where can I turn for peace? ... Who, who can understand? He, only one." If I could suggest a scripture to read I would say, read Alma 37:44-47. The way for us is prepared. It is there for us to hold fast to the iron rod. Like Alma says, "if we will look we may live forever...and now...se that ye look to God and live." The gospel isn't an escape from real life, it isn't a fantasy that brings us superficial or ignorant comfort and peace. The Gospel of Jesus Christ IS real life. It brings us "peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come" (intro to B.o.M.). Sorry if it sounds like I'm preaching or something, but I've seen the difference in people's lives. I've seen how much this gospel can change people. Granted, I've only been on my mission for a little while, but man! There is nothing that can help people more than the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Anyway, back to the week.

So we have been tracting a ton this week. Because, we only have really one investigator, Jess. Gregg Bailey dropped us over the phone, and we're giving Spencer some breathing room. We have been tracting a ton each day, and from it over the last few days, we have gotten like 15 potential investigators. It's been awesome to see that people will invite us back, now we just have to help them feel the Spirit and they will want to learn and feel it more in their lives. I don't know how many of these people will become investigators, but if nothing else, we're trying to work hard and do what God has asked us to do. And the Lord will see our righteous efforts to do so, and I know, in His own time, he will bless us. I've been kind of down lately just because we have had nobody to teach besides Jess, and we want more people to teach and help bring closer to Christ. It's hard at times to see the end from the beginning, but I've come to realize the Lord will bless us. I remember the first week I was here, we had nothing going on. And then we were so blessed. It will happen again, I know it. Elder McKay is awesome! I really love working with him, and he has brought a really great Spirit to the area. With Elder Washburn, we didn't focus on finding people as much as we are now. Finding is one of the most important things we can do as missionaries. I can't tell you how much we appreciate referrals from members in the ward. If you know someone who would listen to the missionaries, or who would even just invite them back in their home, let the missionaries (as long as they're not deadbeats) know. Please. Look in Preach My Gospel in the chapter about finding people. President Hinckley is quoted saying that many people just think missionary work is tracting, but those who are involved in the work know that there is a better way. That is through the members. The members are awesome here, but you can honestly never get too many referrals.

Well, my email was kind of interesting this week, but I want you all to know how much this work means. It is the work of the salvation of souls, and honestly, I find myself wondering every day how I am a part of such an awesome work. We are weak, we are imperfect, we are afraid. But His grace is sufficient for us. He makes weak things become strong. And although many times I feel like a very weak thing, I know that the Lord can work through even me, a weak, imperfect being. And not only is he working through me, but He is shaping me every day into something He wants me to be. Every day he helps me "Try a little harder to be a little better" as President Hinckley said. He can do the same for you. I love you all so much. I miss you immensely. But, God has called me to do a greater work than I could ever imagine. And like Nephi, I try and make my response "And I must obey". I love you. I pray for you.

Love always and forever,
Elder Logan Bryan

Monday, October 24, 2011

Still in B-Ridge!!!

So Family,
As you can guess, I am still in Buffalo Ridge, for which I am super grateful. The thing is, Elder Washburn is no longer here. He was made a Zone Leader for the Loveland Zone. So my new companion is Elder McKay. He has been out for 1 transfer longer than me, so we're both pretty much greenies. But, he has led the mission in baptisms ever since he's been out. The guy is a stud. He is from Louisiana and he went to BYU the year before me and for part of the year I went. He has been serving in Westminster until now, and now he's district leader for our district. I'm super excited to have a companion who loves the work and is doing it to the fullest extent he can. I'm really grateful to have him for a companion and to get to know him better. So we moved to Bobbie Estes's house, a pink house down the hill. Here the members usually only sign up for 3 month periods to house the missionaries, so we moved from the Wilzbachs. It is a good living situation.

Thank you very much for the packages this week. I really appreciated the facemask. Elder Washburn took the other one, for which he was very grateful. I'm sure I'll be using it this week since the weather is set to snow tomorrow and Wednesday at least 20 inches.

So this week was great. First off, Todd was baptized, confirmed, and ordained a priest. I was the one who got to baptize him, it was nerve-wracking, but I was very grateful for the opportunity to do so. I had to get those white pants wet at some point, right? His baptism was great, Trudee's family came into town for it from Ogden, and he was confirmed by Elder Washburn. He was ordained by Bishop Thad Brown, who is so awesome. I was just really grateful the whole time in all three of those situations for the opportunity I had to be a part of Todd's conversion and be there as he chose this wonderful path for himself, but mostly for his family.

We taught Jess yesterday, and it was a great lesson. First off, Brian told us that he's realized by reading Alma 32 with Jess, that for Taycee (their daughter) to be raised like he was that he and Jess need to be involved fully and commited to the church. He knows this is what he needs to do. I told Jess that I was pretty sure she knew she needed to be baptized as well, and she said that yes she knows that. We asked them what a realistic goal would be for them to get to the end goal, and they both agreed to give up drinking! Yes! Also, towards the end of the lesson, we asked them to pray about and talk about a date where she could be baptized and where he could receive the Melchizedek priesthood. They said they would do that, and we're kind of taking this approach because we don't know just yet how to handle bringing up the fact that they need to be married. But she's going to get baptized, it's only a matter of when.

Spencer. Oh, Spencer. We had the most frustrating lesson of my life with Spencer this week. He kept going in circles around how he didn't know how to get answers. Then when we explained that, he would say, "Well why should I limit myself to only asking this God if he's there? What if another God is the true God?" Well, needless to say, my brain blew up, and I was frustrated that he was complicating a very simple and sweet gospel, and Bro. Robertson (the YM pres and C130 pilot) just told him plainly that the message he was hearing from Spencer the whole time was: "I'm not going to do this stupid thing you guys are asking me to do". Well, we committed him to ask again, if God was there and if what we were teaching was true. I hate to think of it, but I was considering after the lesson, how many more lessons like this would it take for us to say that we are wasting our time teaching him anymore. It was just kind of a rough day.

We have quite a bit going on in this area, and I am excited to be able to learn from and work with Elder McKay. I think he's awesome and I think he'll teach me a lot about being a good and powerful missionary. We'll meet with Gregg Bailey tomorrow, and a couple other potentials this week. I'm excited about the future for this area and I know that by doing work, we will be able to see miracles happen. Faith, and trust in God, combined with work is the recipe for miracles in God's kingdom. No doubt about it. I was reading this week in Helaman 10. There are some great lessons in this chapter about obedience. Nephi was tired, exhausted, and probably sad about the wickedness of the people. He was on his way to his home. And God told him he needed to go and declare repentance to this people. And it says, "And behold, now it came to pass that when the Lord had spoken these words unto Nephi, he did stop and did not go unto his own house, but did return unto the multitudes...and he did go forth in the Spirit...declaring the word of God, even until he had declared it unto them all." Nephi's obedience here is amazing. It is immediate obedience, it is exact obedience, and it is whole-hearted obedience. I think we can all learn from his example, and it really reminded me of Elder Alonso's talk in Conference. Do the right thing, at the right time, without delay. I need to work on my obedience. I try to be good in obeying, but I need to do it immediately, exactly, and whole-heartedly. It was a good lesson for me to learn this week.

Anyway, I love you all. I really appreciate the letters, the emails, the prayers, the love, and the support. It means the world to me. I couldn't do this work without you.

Elder Logan Bryan

Monday, October 17, 2011

We Baptized Fred, and Confirmed his bald Head

Hola Familia!
I've had a pretty dang awesome week. Much better than my last one too which is awesome. The weather was a little better this last week, but then today it started raining/snowing again. Dang Wyoming, make up your mind. I think the worst part about the weather here is the wind. But we all know that's because Idaho sucks and Nebraska blows :) At least that's what they say here. I miss you guys a ton, but this week has been so rewarding that I have just thanked Heavenly Father so much for everything that's happened.
First, Fred was baptized! Elder Washburn baptized him on Saturday and that was an awesome service, and Fred was just ready. After he came up out of the water he kind of just stood there for a minute, I don't think he wanted to leave. Then when he came back into the room, immediately he went to his wife and gave her a big hug and a kiss. He is such an awesome guy. On Sunday, I confirmed Fred. It was probably one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my life, but while I was doing it I felt at peace and that I said what needed to be said. When Bishop was closing off the meeting he talked about how Fred told him in his meeting with him that morning, "How soon can I go to the temple and get sealed to Jessica?" Fred really does have his sights set on eternity. He was prepared and I feel so blessed we were able to be a part of his conversion. Elder Washburn ordained him as a priest in priesthood meeting yesterday. It was just an awesome day....
Until it got better!!!!!!!!! We met with Todd after church. We brought Bishop Brown with us, and we taught the last part of lesson 3: baptism, holy ghost, and enduring to the end. After that, I said, "Todd, you have committed to live everything we've asked you to. You know it's true. Then I read the scripture in Mosiah 18 that says basically if you're going to live everything, what do you have against being baptized?? So I asked him, what do you have against being baptized? (because up to this point we had asked him to be baptized on the 22nd but he kept saying we'll see, we'll see) He then thought about it and said, "I guess I don't have anything against it". Then I asked him, "So will you be baptized this Saturday?" Then Elder Washburn said, "I think the better question would be, what time do you want to get baptized on Saturday?" HAHA. He's getting baptized at 4 on Saturday, and we're so completely stoked out of our minds!! I think I'm more excited about this one than any of the other ones because I feel like we've done the most with Todd, we've helped him progress, and we've really worked hard at getting him to find his answers.
Also in the news, we got a new investigator this week named Gregg Bailey. He was a potential that Elder Washburn taught lesson 1 to before I got here, and he never set a return appointment. So we stopped by his house every now and again and he always said he was going to read the Book of Mormon but didn't. Well, we stopped by his house this week hoping to set a time we could teach him, and he ended up inviting us in and we talked with him for 2 hours!!!! It was awesome! We both felt like that lesson went awesomely and that we both said what needed to be said. We ended up just saying, to get your answer what do you have to do? And before we could even end that question he said "I need to read the book and see how it feels". He's awesome and we felt really great about how that lesson went. We have another lesson with him in a week. We also stopped by Genesis's house this week and set an appointment with her to teach her again, so now she's officially a new investigator too. It was just an awesome week.
As for Jess and Brian, she was working this week, so we have a lesson set up for this upcoming Sunday, which should be an awesome day after Todd has just been baptized and confirmed and we'll set Jess for baptism hopefully.
Well transfers are a week from today, and I'm thinking I'll stay here. We're even thinking Elder Washburn and I will be together for one more transfer. But who knows? We are moving from the house we're at now to a new one, so if you're going to send anything, send it through the mission office. We move on Saturday and I should get the new address on that day, so if you want to hold off sending anything until then, I don't know. I have been kind of having a drought on letters from people other than mom (which I love getting your letters mom). I know I'm not the best on writing back, but I'm working on it. I have been making progress on how many letters I have to write each p-day. So, keep them coming, because they always are nice to get and are a nice way to get my spirits up if I'm having a hard time. I love you all so much. Love this gospel with all your hearts because it is where we receive the most blessings. It's true, and I'm beginning to see how much of a profound effect it has on the lives of people who live it and change their lives because of it.

Elder Logan Bryan

Monday, October 10, 2011


Hey Family,

So as the title says, yes it did snow. Yes it was freezing. We tried biking in it and every snowflake felt like a dagger to the face. My pants were soaked, my face was eaten off. It was crazy. So first item on the shopping list, long johns. Then a facemask. Luckily John Cox, an awesome guy in the ward that served his mission in Ireland, took us around for the rest of the day. It was really awesome of him. He's a great guy. One of my pictures should be me in the snow/wind. Ya that wind is nothing, wait til you're biking in it. It was kind of awesome though. Stories to tell. It's been cold here, and I think it's gonna stay that way. So a couple more long sleeve shirts wouldn't hurt anything (thank you very much). We had interviews with the President this week. I love President Toombs. He is awesome. I really liked my interview with him and it helped me out a lot. He asked us to increase our faith. We as missionaries need to rely on faith more than methods, and that's something I'm trying to work on.

Fred Hurlburt is on for Baptism this Saturday, and he's getting more excited about it and less nervous. I think he's going to ask either Elder Washburn or me to do it. He was going to ask his 95 year old grandfather to do it, but his grandpa doesn't have the priesthood. So if he does choose either of us, it will be the first time we actually physically baptize someone. It's kind of nerve-wracking, but I think it will be ok. We're super excited for him, and for the fact that he has progressed so much since we first started teaching him. His wife, Jessica, has helped us so much along the way; her testimony is so solid, and she is really excited for Fred. She is in tune with the Spirit and has really been a major factor in his conversion. We have a lesson with them tonight, and we're getting him ready for baptism. He is ready, and I think he realizes he won't know everything before he gets baptized, but what matters is what he does know is true.

We had a lesson with Todd Hufford at Bishop Thad Brown's (previous bishop) house last night and that went really well. Todd was hesitant towards paying tithing beforehand, but with the testimony of both Bishop and Sister Brown, Todd said he would be willing to "prove" tithing like the Lord asks us to. I think he is progressing more than he thinks. He told us that he thinks he isn't opening up as much as he thinks he is. He said he needs to open up more to receive answers and I think he's right. He needs to be willing to listen for God's answers and actually look for them. He is a great guy, and we are really hoping and praying that he will be ready for his baptismal date on the 22nd. Todd is a stubborn guy, but he realizes that, and I think slowly he is starting to open up more and more to the idea of how much this can bless his, and his wife's, and his son's lives. Bishop Brown told Todd that this decision would make a world of difference in the life of his son. Bishop Brown told him that his father had taken the lessons for 7 years and then was baptized, and that is the thing that he is most grateful for about his dad-his decision to become a member of this gospel and live according to it's standards in order to receive the blessings. I think Todd was really hit by this and he realizes how much of an impact this decision will have on his son Tanner's life. He's awesome though, and he'll be able to see the light.

We had a lesson with Brian Thomas and Jess yesterday. Bishop Ross came along. Bishop asked them a bunch of questions and got to know them much better. We taught the first half of lesson 2, and Bishop then kind of took charge and commited them to pray if this was the right path. They were super receptive the whole time, and I think it was inspired and directed of God that Bishop was there because they reacted to his questions and his invitations so well. Bishop asked Jess to be baptized and Brian to prepare to receive the Melchizedek priesthood. It was awesome to be there and testify of the change they'll be able to see in their lives. Brian shared with us that ever since we came over and gave him a blessing, he's been thinking about how he wants to be able to do that for Jess and their daughter Taycee. He said it has been a long time since he's thought about the priesthood, but that kind of sparked those feelings again that he wants and desires to be a worthy priesthood holder who can bless the life of his family through the righteous exercising of the authority that God will give him. Brian has a super strong testimony and he knows this is what he needs to do, I think he is just afraid of the change and sacrifice that he will have to make to get there. Jess is solid too. She knows this is the path she needs to take, she just doesn't feel like she knows enough about the gospel. As they both pray to know if these paths are right for them (which they are), they'll be able to see the sacrifices they need to make are nothing compared to the blessings they'll get. It was a great lesson and went a lot better than the last one we had with them.

We had a lesson with Dustin, who is now our investigator that we are going to pass on to the zone leaders because he wants to go to the singles ward. He has had a rough life, but we emphasized the importance of the Book of Mormon with him. He has been searching for something but he says he doesn't know what that is. We testified that this is it, and although it may not seem like it, this gospel has all the answers and he will find more happiness through it than anything else. Sarah Jimenez, a girl in the singles ward, testified really simply and strongly about how not much matters besides knowing that the Book of Mormon is true. When you know that, you know pretty much everything else. It was an awesome lesson, and we have another one on Tuesday where we'll take the zone leaders with us and pass him to them I think.

This week has been pretty awesome as far as the work goes. It is hard work, that is for sure, but it is so worth it. I have a testimony of work, it is what keeps us obedient, successful, and happy. I know that we have seen so many blessings by just getting out and going to work. And like Elder Alonso said in conference, you don't need a planning meeting for everything. Sometimes you just have to work. I know that's true. I love being a missionary. I just want to be the best missionary I can be, and I'm trying to become better one day at a time. I know this gospel is true, I know the atonement is real, I've felt it change my life. One of my favorite quotes is by President Hinckley: "try a little harder, to be a little better". Elder Washburn and I truly try to always find ways to become better.


Elder Logan Bryan

Monday, October 3, 2011

Helaman 5:12

Well Family, this week has been particularly rough. Probably one of the hardest weeks of my mission. You can decide whether or not you want to send this to the rest of the people you normally do or not. I truly have felt down and kind of how Alma feels in chapter 36, in the gall of bitterness. I've had an interesting week. I don't know if I told you this or if it was this week that it happened, but Todd Hufford committed to baptism on the 22nd. This week we had another great lesson with him. We went in thinking and planning that we were going to teach the plan of salvation and when we would talk about earth life we would talk about bodies and the word of wisdom. Well we got in there, and the first thing he asked us was, "Well, what do I need to like give up for this?" It was a kind of a pat on the back saying go ahead, teach the word of wisdom. Which we did. We talked about the 5 things we don't do: tobacco, coffee, tea, alcohol, illegal drugs. He said he had problems with 2: tea and alcohol. He said he goes through like two huge packs of green tea every week, and he usually makes a beer run like once a week. Well, after some encouragement and promised blessings, he agreed to commit to live the Word of Wisdom. It was awesome.

We didn't get a chance to meet with Fred, we're meeting with him tonight. We met with Brian Thomas and Jess. We took Bro. Hall (High Priest's Group Leader) with us. We taught lesson 1, and before we began they made sure to tell us that Brian said he wants his daughter to be raised LDS, and he wants Jess to know what she will be taught. He said maybe baptism was an option somewhere down the line, but now they weren't ready to jump in with both feet because they both like social drinking. Ok, cool. Anyway, so that was interesting, and we taught lesson 1 and Jess said she likes going to church and feeling refreshed and feeling the Spirit. So we testified of the Book of Mormon and she was very excited to read it. We hope they come around and realize there is no better time to change than now. I hope she actually does read the Book of Mormon because if she does it sincerely expecting an answer, she'll get it. No way around it.

We watched Conference at the Cantrell's on Saturday (awesome family in the ward) and at the Bingham's yesterday. Jake has been kind of different lately--I hope he's keeping his commitments because we can't hardly ever see him now that he's working out of town during the week. But I started explaining who some of the people were in conference, and Kelly said she knew because she watched the RS sesh. And she said she loves President Monson. Kelly is so great, and I hope Jake will see that he needs to be too.

Well, Satan has been working overtime on me this week. He threw about everything at me, and it got me really down. Especially on Saturday and Sunday. I think looking back on it, and coming out of the hole that I've been in, Satan knew how much I love Conference, and he wanted to ruin it for me, and to make me question my power as a missionary. And he worked on Elder Washburn too. He said he felt the same thing. Yesterday, virtually everything that could've gone wrong did. Every appointment cancelled, nobody was home, we saw one of the people we were supposed to have an appointment with (who was supposedly sick) walking down the street with her boyfriend perfectly fine. Yup it was awesome. I just kind of felt like it couldn't have gotten much worse. Plus I was already down. It was kind of a sucker punch from Satan. That piece. I love getting your emails though, they pick me up and I love them very much.

Well I loved getting my Ukulele this week, even though I can only play it on P-day. So now pdays will be better. Thank you so much for the packages. Tell Jill Gibson thanks a bunch for her email, it was awesome. And Luke Sanford. Can you guys get me Uncle Jorge's address so I can write him a letter. I got an email from him this week and I loved it so much. I need to write him. I also very much appreciate Odie's and Papa's letters-they mean a lot to me and I love and miss them so much.

Well, hopefully this week will be awesome. I just gotta keep working and doing what I'm supposed to, and things will go well. When Satan sends for his mighty whirlwinds, remember it is upon the rock of our Redeemer-the Prince of Peace, the Savior of the World-that we are built on. We cannot fall. Like Jacob, I am continually working so that I can say without faltering, "I could not be shaken". I love you all so much. I pray for you. I love the Prophet and the apostles. They are men of God. This church is true, no question. Feel it, believe it. "Believe in God, believe that He is". Why? Because life is better that way. Because He is real and He loves us more than anyone. I've felt his love, mercy, and grace. I've seen people's lives with and without the gospel, and what a world of difference there is. If you need to change, do it now. Turn to Christ, come unto Him. "His arms are outstretched still".

Love you,

Elder Logan Bryan